4,4′,5,5′-Tetracarboxy-2,2′-bipyridine Ru(II) Sensitizers for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Two Ru­(II) sensitizers TCR-1 and TCR-2 bearing four carboxy anchoring groups were prepared using 4,4′,5,5′-tetraethoxycarbonyl-2,2′-bipyridine chelate and 4-(5-hexylthien-2-yl)-2-(3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl)­pyridine and 6-t-butyl-1-(3-trifluoromethyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl)­isoquinoline, respectively. Dissolution of these sensitizers in DMF solution afforded a light green solution up to 10–5 M, for which their color gradually turned red upon further dilution and deposition on the surface of a TiO2 photoanode due to the spontaneous deprotonation of carboxylic acid groups. These sensitizers were characterized using electrochemical means and structural analysis time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) simulation and were also subjected to actual device fabrication. The as-fabricated DSC devices showed overall efficiencies η = 6.16% and 6.23% versus their 4,4′-dicarboxy counterparts TFRS-2 and TFRS-52 with higher efficiencies of 7.57% and 8.09%, using electrolyte with 0.2 M LiI additive. Their inferior efficiencies are possibly caused by the combination of blue-shifted absorption on TiO2, inadequate dye loading, and the perpendicularly oriented central carboxy groups.